Award-winning romance writer Rachel Hauck probably
wouldn’t declare herself a “romantic.” Instead she insists she is “fierce about
love and commitment, and the value of relationships.” This ferocity is what
makes her novels reach out and grab readers, pulling them into a carefully
crafted and memorable love story.

When Rachel witnessed Kate Middleton’s journey to royalty, she
knew there was a story there—perhaps even a series—when commoner and royalty
fall in love. Thus, her Royal Weddings series was born and has recently grown
with the addition of Princess Ever After (Zondervan), which follows the story
of an ordinary girl who learns she is, in fact, royalty. A fantasy for most
girls turns into reality for Rachel’s main character, Regina, a classic car
mechanic. “I’m excited for readers to go on this journey with her from commoner
to princess. Which is really all of our journey when we give our hearts to
Jesus, right? How cool is that? We’re all princes and princesses in the Kingdom
of God,” says Rachel.

The inspiration for Regina’s occupation comes from a facet of
Rachel’s real life. Growing up, her brothers were car enthusiasts and she was
already familiar with the jargon and hobby. However, with a little help from a
body shop in Pennsylvania, she was able to get some much-needed advice about old
gas tanks. “I think this part of Regina is a little bit of me,” comments
Rachel. Regina is an unlikely princess who is happy with her life until her
great-grandmother drops a bombshell that changes everything. Suddenly Regina
finds herself questioning her destiny and learning to trust God.

When it comes to writing romance, Rachel says the plot requires
tedious crafting. “Much like following the blueprints to building a house – and
requires ‘feeling’ – much like choosing the interior decorations for that new
house. But at the end of the day, the real secret of a believable romantic plot
is to create solid, believable characters with a purpose and a journey.”

Rachel says that she loves writing about weddings because of
everything they symbolize. “Weddings are the truest picture of love. After all,
the end of the age cumulates with a wedding! Jesus and His Bride. Weddings are
the ceremony where love is publicly declared. Commitments are made. Hope
blooms. Families are formed. It seems weddings are a doorway into a new life.
Two lives joining together to become one.”

Rachel admits the path to her wedding was a bit unconventional.
“We have a weird, but lovely story,” says Rachel of how she met her husband. He
was working at her church when she met him, and after their first date there
were definite sparks. Rachel says after that God told her she was going to
marry him! Her response? “No Lord! Don’t tell me I’m going to marry the single
singles and youth pastor! That’s too weird!” Meanwhile, God had impressed upon
her husband’s heart that a friendship was best. Three years passed before
Rachel’s husband was suddenly struck with romantic feelings towards her. One
day out of the blue, “He turned around to say Hi and BAM!” The rest is history.

So what is Rachel’s best relationship advice? “Love well. Be
willing to give, forgive, and trust the Lord with your heart. I’ve just been struck
lately with the idea of ‘Have I loved well?’ Suddenly it doesn’t seem so
important that I am always treated fair or that all of my affections are
returned. I just know I’ll be accountable before the Lord for my own heart and
attitude.”

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About The Author

RITA-finalist Rachel Hauck lives in Florida with her husband, Tony. She is the author of Dining with Joy; Sweet Caroline; Love Starts with Elle; and The Sweet By and By, co-authored with Sara Evans.